Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015-03-26 WBKV Talking Points (March 26 2015)

Free Panda Ant Virus bricks computers! My advice: stay with MS Security Essentials or Defender.
Danger from USB drives: A newly demonstrated device has the potential to fry the USB port and possibly other components on motherboards, even the CPU!

A test for the Superfish bugis here, removal instructions are here.
Firefox vers. 36.0.1 has protection against SF, vers. 37 will further improve certificate checking!

All Win 7 & 8 users can upgrade to Win10 for free � for one year (only?).
Then licensing will kick in? Home user be careful! Microsoft does not give anything away for free; that is the first concrete step to get us all to accept a licensing model, that means yearly payments.

Seagate reluctant to fix serious bugin some of their NAS drives.

More bugs in Adobe Flash Player!Currently (as of March 16) officially released version is 17.0.0.134!
Many fake updates! Users are tricked to download and install a fake plugin that then installs a key logger to collect log in info & passwords. User beware! 

If anyone calls you and claims to be in any way affiliated with Microsoft IT IS A SCAM!

Download portals (cnet.com, download.com. softonic.com et al) are huge malware slingers.

Have your DNS settings been tampered with? Test here(but know what is correct�)

Adobe's cash-less bug bounty program: Can it ever work?

Symantec splitting security (Norton) from storage business. The beginning of the end (like HP)?



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Microsoft is at it AGAIN!


Finally some big Microsoft customers have gotten Microsoft to stop trying to squeeze their Bing search and Bing software on Windows computers. And what happens a few month later?
Microsoft is at it again!
 
Recently I see more and more (especially Windows 7) computers with Skype installed - and the user of the computer swears they did not install it, they don't use it and most say they have no idea what it is or does.

The last point is answered by Wikipedia like this:
Skype /'ska?p/ is a telecommunications application software that specializes in providing video chat and voice calls from computers, tablets and mobile devices via the Internet to other devices or telephones/smartphones.
By now Skype can send text messages and do some data sharing as well.

It is useful if you often want to video chat (camera required) or voice chat (microphone required) for free over the Internet. It sure is a nice thing for families with relatives abroad, just think of families with relatives in the armed forces. 

Microsoft installs Skype by default so that it always runs. I have seen quite a few computers that got severely slowed down when Skype was running.

If you do not want Skype on your computer:

Microsoft has begun to offer it as an Optional Update. If you see "Skype for Windows" when checking for Windows Updates please right click on the Skype entry and then left click on Hide Entry. It should look like this (the hourglass symbol is my cursor):


IMHO it is a shame that Microsoft thinks they need these kind of tricks to get their software on unsuspecting home user's computers.

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.




Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015-03-12 WBKV Talking Points (March 12 2015)

Superfish bug on some Lenovo laptops is a real risk:
A test for Superfish is here, removal instructions are here.
Firefox vers. 36.0.1 has protection against SF, vers. 37 will further improve certificate checking!

Confirmed sensation: Microsoft will allow all Win 7 & 8 users to upgrade to Win10 for free � for one year (only?). But then the licensing will kick in? A rented operating system? Home user be careful! Microsoft does not give anything away for free; that is the first concrete step to get us all to accept a licensing model, that means yearly payments. This way Microsoft will in the medium and long term make oodles of money more than by selling the software.

More dangerous bugs in Adobe Flash Player! Currently (as of March 12 2015) officially released version is 16.0.0.305! The catch: Many fake updates around! Mostly the user is tricked to download and install a fake plugin that then installs a key logger to collect log in info & passwords. User beware! 

Scam phone calls: Microsoft does not even know that we exist. MS's own advice:
  • If anyone calls you and claims to be in any way affiliated with Microsoft IT IS A SCAM!
  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the �service.� If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate person you personally know and trust and/or are already a customer of.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
  • Take the caller�s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
Download portals (cnet.com, download.com. softonic.com et al) are huge malware slingers.

Have your DNS settings been tampered with? Test here (but know what is correct�)

Adobe's cash-less bug bounty program: Can it ever work?

Symantec splitting security (Norton) from storage business. The beginning of the end (like HP)?

FREAK bug (low quality encryption): Check your web browser here.
News March 12 2015: Fixed with this month's batch of updates for Windows

As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table Of Contents.


 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015-03-02 WTKM Talking Points (March 2nd 2015)


Superfish (on some Lenovo laptops) is a real risk!
A test for Superfish is here, removal instructions are here.

Confirmed sensation: Microsoft will allow all Win 7 & 8 users to upgrade to Win10 for free � for one year (only?). But then the licensing will kick in? A rented operating system? Home user be careful! Microsoft does not give anything away for free; that is the first concrete step to get us all to accept a licensing model, that means yearly payments. This way Microsoft will in the medium and long term make oodles of money more than by selling the software.

More dangerous bugs in Adobe Flash Player! Current officially released version is 16.0.0.305! The catch: Many fake updates around! Mostly the user is tricked to download and install a fake plugin that then installs a keylogger to collect log in info & passwords. User beware! 

Renewed warning: CryptoWall (new CrypotoLocker variant) spreads through advertising networks.
When you see advertisements your computer is not sufficiently protected or it is already infected with malware!

Finally: Microsoft takes on scam tech support phone call organizations (PDF).
If MS succeeds I expect the crooks to move off-shore and do the same from India.
Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit attorney Courtney Gregoire has an article and a video about these scams on her blog. Here is Ms. Gregoire's advice:
  • If anyone calls you and claims to be in any way affiliated with Microsoft IT IS A SCAM!
  • Do not purchase any software or services.
  • Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the �service.� If there is, hang up.
  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate person you personally know and trust and/or are already a customer of.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft tech support.
  • Take the caller�s information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.
The supposed hack attack on French news media (after Charlie Hebdo shooting) was no attack at all. It was a simple server cockup.

In Canada it is now illegal to install computer programs without consent. Why not in the US?

375 of the 500 largest companies do not protect their web sites from typosquatters. That causes real danger when you mistype a web address in your browser. Be careful!
As usual I welcome suggestions and comments right here in the blog.

Click here for a categorized Table of Contents.



Old Scam - New Clothes

A scammer from India came up with a new twist of an old ruse.  Look at this screen shot of the offending email as shown in my email progr...